They say you never know how strong your heart is until you learn to forgive whoever broke it. It’s human nature to hold grudges and want to hurt the person you were hurt by. But what is that for ? It will only sabotage your own sanity and interfere with your own goals. Letting go and moving on is one of the hardest things we do as individuals, but one of the most liberating. Forgiveness is not about forgetting and trying to ignore the act that took place. It is rather a question of taking stock of the situation and gaining morale, of growing from it.
Speaking of human nature, forgiveness is a conscious act of will – forgetting is not. Once time passes and you begin to heal, forgiveness comes naturally. It takes days, months, even years for some people. Some people spend what seems like an eternity waiting for closure to finally loosen that rope so they can move on and break free from the pain. Some people blame themselves and find it difficult to give themselves the same forgiveness they give to others. And some simply choose that forgetting and ignoring is the best healing mechanism when in reality it only does more harm than good in the long run.
Don’t just move on
If you just forget and move on, you risk re-injuring yourself for the exact same reason, and most of the time you resort to this idea simply because you’re impatient and want to speed up the healing process. If you hurt yourself really badly, it won’t heal overnight. It’s an emotional bruise that will probably take some time to completely fade away. Sometimes it can even leave a scar, and that’s okay. It’s okay because that scar will remind you of how strong you’ve become.
Forgiveness comes from learning to let go, which is a difficult task, I know. Sometimes the only reason you don’t let go of what’s holding you back is because it was the only thing that made you happy once upon a time. And the truth is, you don’t always have to let go. Everyone has flaws, and if your relationship, friendship, etc., is strong enough to pull through, then it’s important that you forgive that person, but never forget what they’ve done.
Let’s do a little mini “case study” to put this into perspective.
Let’s say your 6-year-old best friend talked badly about you behind your back and revealed all your deepest secrets to a random person after you and they had a fight. You may have been angry and on a whim decided to tell them that you no longer want them in your life. Let us now review this situation.
Have they done this before? Did they apologize right away? Did they confess to spilling the fuse or did you have to find out from someone else?
These three issues stem from respect – the foundation of any kind of relationship. Obviously, telling secrets like that shows a lack of respect; however, no one is perfect and sometimes they get carried away. If they sincerely apologize and admit their wrongdoing, you might want to consider giving them a second chance. If not, always consider a second chance. Just be careful this time.
To give them a second chance is to forgive them, but without forgetting what they have done.
A more difficult decision
On the other hand, sometimes the decisions are not so easy and the situation can be more serious than a slanderous friend. Sometimes it’s really hard to let things and people go, but it’s important to recognize how liberating it is. Forgiving someone is hard, it’s not easy, especially if you’re forgiving someone who isn’t even sorry. However, to fully heal and recover, you must learn to forgive – which really shows strength and maturity.
Remember that this also applies to you
Although you have already done everything I mentioned, it is also very important to learn to forgive yourself. We are only human, sometimes we are wrong. Its good. If you acknowledge your lows and accept your flaws, you are more than your mistakes. Many of us do things in the past that we regret, which may have appalled someone, and find it hard to forgive ourselves with the awareness of guilt. Love yourself enough to forgive yourself. It will really change your life, believe me.
If you want to take anything away from this message, take the message that you should forgive but never forget.